Exactly 50 years ago, two men put their feet on the moon.
Today, everyone talks about it. Including the speakers of the panel „50 years from landing – Technology, Politics, Propaganda” at Festivalul de Film si Istorii Rasnov.
Ambassador Hans Klemm on the moon landing:
„I was living in Kentucky at the time of the moon landing. My mother’s hobby was astronomy. She was, of course, fascinated by all the American space program accomplishments during those years.
John F. Kennedy launched the ambition of landing a man on the moon in May 1961. This was in the context of the space race with the Soviet Union. To many people’s surprise, the Apollo program and Neil Armstrong accomplished this feat just eight years afterwards. This was a fantastic accomplishment on at least three levels.
It was, first of all, an engineering and organizational accomplishment. Many of the technical inventions used during this mission were used for the first time. It is estimated that approximately 400.000 people were working on this program at one point or another, both in the public and private sectors.
Secondly, it was a tremendous internal political accomplishment. Everyone remembers all the turbulent events in American history in that era, involving, among others, civil rights movements, the Vietnam war and so on.
Thirdly, it was an international accomplishment. The US won the space race. There have been commentators that suggested that it was a significant step back for the Russians, having seen the Americans on the moon.”
„It is worth also pointing out that, after coming back from the Moon, the astronauts in Apollo 11 made a tour of the whole globe, and what they heard from people around the world was: „We did it. We, humanity, did it. We placed one of our own on the Moon.”
Ambassador David Saranga on the moon landing
„Up to ’67-’68, everyone knew that the Soviets were winning this space race. Of course, after Apollo 11 reached the Moon, it was very difficult for the Russians to admit it.
Before that, when the Americans were fearing that they were losing the space race, they admitted they have problems, they initiated changes, even in the educational system. This is the difference between a democracy and a totalitarian system.”
„Romania was the only country in communist Eastern Europe broadcasting the moon landing on TV.
Many people asked why we, as humankind, didn’t investigate in more depth the moon, why didn’t we go again on the moon. The answer is that we have to understand that sending a spacecraft to the moon was a very expensive endeavour.
The new Artemis programme of the Americans is amazing. Now, the Americans will go to the moon to stay there, to build a moon-station on the southern part of the moon where water can be found, aiming to extract other materials”.
Dumitru Prunariu on the space debris humankind created:
The space debris is a big problem for the current and future space missions. There are around 2.000 objects flying in the space which we can control. But there other 70.000 objects which fly beyond our control. The so-called uncontrolled objects. All these were created by man’s intervention in the space.
All these objects fly with 8km /second. For comparison, a bullet reaches 1 km / second. Even if they are very small, these objects are very dangerous.
Now, there are regulations in place forbidding the creation of new space debris. At the same time, there are several missions aiming to bring to the atmosphere and land or destroy these pieces of space junk.”
Ambassador Hans Klemm on the space debris humankind created:
„The US sent last year only 4 million notifications to companies or states which own satellites in danger to be hit by space debris.
Ambassador Hans Klemm on the current status of the space missions:
„Not only China has nowadays a significant interest in space, but also India, Mexico, EU, Israel. And, on top of this, private companies.
It is estimated now that the three major private companies active in the area account for the eighth of the total spendings made for the total space missions. And they do that much more efficiently, from the financial point of view, than NASA, for example.”
Ambassador David Saranga on the interest of Israel in space missions:
„I think that, today, invading the space has become an issue of natural pride. If, in the past, this was a matter of propaganda, now it is a matter of public diplomacy. Propaganda is done by the Government, public diplomacy can be done by the Government, but also by private companies and private persons.
Israel sent, in 2019, its own spacecraft, Beresheet, in the space and this is due to three students, who had an idea in 2011. Their idea needed eight years of work, 200 people involved and many Israeli companies’ contribution.”
Dumitru Prunariu, on the sovereignity on the moon:
„From the legal point of view, currently there is no settled limit between the atmosphere and the outer space. It is very difficult to decide upon that limit.
When people will colonize the moon, from where they will be able to control many things, including the atmosphere on Earth, sovereignty out there will be a big issue.”
Foto: Daniel Secărescu